PHM Clients Secure $85 Million Settlement in Royalty Class Action Against Burlington Resources

Peifer, Hanson & Mullins clients have secured a $85 million cash settlement for royalty owners of coalbed methane natural gas produced by Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP in New Mexico's San Juan Basin.  The settlement resolves claims in an almost 11-year class action against the natural gas producer, which plaintiffs alleged underpaid royalties by taking improper deductions for the costs of making coalbed methane gas into a marketable product.  The Court-approved settlement represents approximately 86 percent of the actual damages claimed by the plaintiffs on behalf of the class, and was negotiated after years of litigation, multiple appeals, and removal to and remand from Federal district court.  Peifer, Hanson & Mullins represented the plaintiffs and the class, along with lawyers from the Eaves Law Firm, PA, Sutin, Thayer & Browne PC, and Mary E. Walta PC.  Burlington is part Houston-based ConocoPhillips company, one of the largest energy producers in the world.  The case is Phillis Ideal et al v. Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP, New Mexico First Judicial District Court No. D-0101-CV-2003-02309.